Religion and Spirituality
Religion, spiritual beliefs or practices may represent an important aspect of your identity. Differences in expression of religion or spirituality reflect another form of diversity within a workplace. Day-to-day, your belief structure may require, support, prohibit, or limit aspects of daily life that can influence your professional experience. As an integral piece of your identity, you may wonder how and when to express this aspect of yourself in the workplace setting, as well as and how to gauge an organization's fit with your spiritual values.
Whether it is established or unconventional, your religion or spiritual practices are protected by Title VII through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which defines "religion" to include "all aspects of religious observance, practice and belief whether formal or informal." Belief in a deity or existence of an organized structure is not required. What matters is your sincere religious, moral or ethical belief with the strength of a religious conviction.
As you consider potential workplaces and industries, you may want to explore some or all of the following:
- If important to you, how do your beliefs, religion or spiritual practices align with the organization, the mission or the industry?
- Do your job expectations fundamentally align or conflict with convictions that you are unwilling to compromise?
- What is the organizational climate and receptivity to your religious practice?
- What person or office is accountable for non-discrimination policies?
- Is there a presence of accommodations or willingness to address your individual needs? These may include dietary restrictions; religious dress or uniform alterations; prayer observance breaks and locations; and, leave approval policies for religious holiday observance.
- Are affinity or Employee Resource Groups (ERG) available?
- What are practices to avoid and assertively decline proselytizing and harassment?
- What cultural, worship places or other venues are near the work location?
Off Campus Resources
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
You may also discover there are professional associations related to your religion for your particular field or within your organization itself. These can be excellent opportunities to find information, support, and networking opportunities. Please consult with a career advisor to learn more about opportunities specific to your field.